are four main areas of Granite Moorland in Cornwall running from Land's End
towards Devon, giving Cornwall a 'backbone'. Furthest west is the Land's End
peninsula containing the West Penwith Moors, then Carmenellis lying in the
triangle between Camborne, Helston and Falmouth. East of this is Hensbarrow
or St Austell granite and then Bodmin Moor. There are a number of smaller
outcrops including the Isles of Scilly, St Michael's Mount and Carn Brea.
of granite produces a typically rolling landscape of treeless heather and
gorse covered moorland with large boulders lying scattered about particularly
on slopes. These boulders are known as 'moorstone' and were used by our ancestors
to build their quoits and circles, huts and hill-forts. More recently when
the edges of the moorland was ploughed to make fields moorstones were used
highest parts of the moors are topped with rocky tors formed of resistant
blocks of granite resting on each other. Examples from the Penwith moors are
Carn Kenidjack, Watch Croft and Carn Galver. Most of the prominent tors are
found on Bodmin Moor - Brown Willy, the highest point in Cornwall; Rough Tor
near Camelford; Caradon Hill with its TV mast and The Cheesewring.
Cornwall owes its industrial past to its granite foundations. The two western
areas of Land's End and Carmenellis produced what were at one time the largest
copper and tin mining operations in the World. Henbarrow granite's weathering
produced china-clay which superseded tin mining as a valuable industry still
of importance today.
Menhir or (standing stone)